Not feeling it on Bench Press

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 22, 2012 5:10 PM GMT
    I have started working out for two months now, and have increased the weight of my bench press from 2 x 15 lb to 2 x 35 lb dumbbells.

    I usually do 2 sets of 10 reps, at which point I can't do more. However, I don't really feel any soreness on my chest muscle, which I get on other muscles that I work out on. To me that's the indication that those muscles have been work out hard enough.

    In fact, I feel more that my biceps and triceps working during the press as oppose to my chest muscles.

    My question is, am I not working out hard enough on my chest for it to be growing? Should I be incorporating more weight or other chest exercises to maximize pecs workout?
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    Jun 22, 2012 5:26 PM GMT
    Do 3 sets.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 22, 2012 5:52 PM GMT
    You're not supposed to be "feeling it" on the bench press anyway.

    #YCYL icon_razz.gif
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    Jun 22, 2012 5:56 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidYou're not supposed to be "feeling it" on the bench press anyway.

    #YCYL icon_razz.gif


    Joke aside, stop trashing my post. It is a legit question looking for a serious answer. What the hell is YCYL?
  • gwuinsf

    Posts: 525

    Jun 22, 2012 6:02 PM GMT
    Try varying your sets like fewer reps at a heavier weight or more reps at a lighter weight.
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    Jun 22, 2012 6:11 PM GMT
    If you want a fuller chest work out, do incline bench press, decline bench press, flat bench, fly press, and push ups.
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    Jun 22, 2012 6:11 PM GMT
    uberick said
    paulflexes saidYou're not supposed to be "feeling it" on the bench press anyway.

    #YCYL icon_razz.gif


    Joke aside, stop trashing my post. It is a legit question looking for a serious answer. What the hell is YCYL?
    Google it.

    PS. I'll trash any post i want to trash. It's fun. And you should work your chest more. That's why your bi's and tri's are taking the brunt of the load. icon_wink.gif
  • daveindenver

    Posts: 314

    Jun 22, 2012 8:15 PM GMT
    paulflexes: that was lame. He is asking a legit question-- with no attitude attached-- so respect the man for trying to improve himself.
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    Jun 22, 2012 8:17 PM GMT
    ycyl= you cruise you lose

    Try contracting your chest in mid rep, This gets the blood flowing to the muscle and can help tire it out. Also try a heavier weight (make sure you use correct form) but with lower reps. you should feel it a lil more that way icon_smile.gif
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    Jun 22, 2012 8:19 PM GMT
    What is YCYL?!!? Thank god.

    Anyway, take a look at your form, you may be pressing from over your shoulders, or not contracting your shoulder blades into the right position, or going too far below a 90 degree bend with your arms.
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    Jun 22, 2012 8:20 PM GMT
    My amateur advice:

    1. Make sure that you are resisting the weight as you lower the dumbbells. Don't just let it drop. This will work your muscles all the way through the exercise.

    2. Change your routine about every 4-6 weeks to challenge your muscles in different ways.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 22, 2012 8:20 PM GMT
    1) Higher weight lower reps, instead of 10 reps do 6-8 of higher weight

    2) Make sure you SQUEEZE you're pecs when bringing the weight to top.

    3) Try different workouts bench press, incline bench press, decline bench press, flys, dips, cable crossovers, and pushups.
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    Jun 22, 2012 8:23 PM GMT
    3, If you're at a gym, ask a trainer to watch you and critique your form.
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    Jun 22, 2012 8:23 PM GMT
    The key is not so much weight as fatigue. Your muscles have to feel fatigued --- which is not necessarily the same as sore.

    They will feel sore when you do a new exercise or some movement that you are not adapted to. Doing a dumbbell bench press means that your muscles have adapted to the movement and won't feel sore like they did the first few times you tried it.

    One thing you can do is drop the weight a bit when you get tired. So if you do 2 sets of 35 for 10.. and struggle to finish the 10th then try the next set at 30 or 27.5.

    You can also switch from free weights to plate loaded machines.. most gyms have them for the chest press.

    If you do that you should definitely feel fatigued and the next day you might feel sore or just a fatigued feeling in your muscles.



  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 22, 2012 10:16 PM GMT
    SSJTrunks saidIf you want a fuller chest work out, do incline bench press, decline bench press, flat bench, fly press, and push ups.


    This is good advice.
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    Jun 22, 2012 10:40 PM GMT
    Focus on using your pecs rather than your triceps or shoulders. Really squeeze the pecs when you lift the weights. To get a better sense of what it feels like to work the pecs, you could maybe start with two or three sets of flys with relatively light weights. I find I can FEEL it more in my chest with flys than with a press so maybe it could help you isolate the pecs if you do some flys first. Also maybe do some pushups after you feel you can't do any more bench presses to really fatigue the pecs and get a good pump going.
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    Jun 22, 2012 10:42 PM GMT
    Change something. Anything. Weight, reps, rest, rhythm, sets, speed...

    If you're doing the same thing for 2 months you've done it too long.
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    Jun 22, 2012 10:45 PM GMT
    Larkin saidChange something. Anything. Weight, reps, rest, rhythm, sets, speed...

    If you're doing the same thing for 2 months you've done it too long.


    listen to this guy. he's sexy.
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    Jun 23, 2012 12:38 AM GMT
    I know where you're coming from...

    I never feel it when doing dumbbell bench presses either, yet I go until failure. I think it's just the nature of the exercise. With dumbbells, the secondary muscles tend to be the bottleneck. However, it's still a great upper body workout. As long as your form is correct and you're changing up some variables (incline angle, weight, reps), you should be ok.

    Add in pec flies, a machine that isolates chest, plus lots of good ol' push ups, and you should see some results.
  • iErik

    Posts: 54

    Jun 23, 2012 1:01 AM GMT
    When you lie down, shrug your shoulders back to lock them in place. This will help isolate the pectoral muscles. Arch your back slightly. You'll want to keep your shoulder blade on the bench at all times, only moving your arms. If your shoulders are moving you're not using your chest muscle as much.

    Also, like previous posters have said, try contracting your chest muscles when you push up. It'll help if you start with a lower weight and make the mind body connection on how to use your chest muscle.
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    Jun 23, 2012 1:05 AM GMT
    Go for 3 or 4 sets of 8 at a heavier weight, you want to be really struggling to get that last rep in.

    Alternatively, 5x5 (5 sets of 5) at a heavy weight is a great way to gain strength and add some digits to what your lifting.
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    Jun 23, 2012 5:25 AM GMT
    daveindenver saidpaulflexes: that was lame. He is asking a legit question-- with no attitude attached-- so respect the man for trying to improve himself.


    I have seen paulflexes in forums more than enough to see that he meant no harm, but thanks daveindenver for stepping in for me anyways.


    Thanks to all who have given me real good advices. icon_surprised.gif
    I have compiled some of the key points, which may be useful for others too:

    Proper form: use lower weights to make sure the form is proper. Shoulder rolled back against bench at all time, slightly arched back, and squeeze pecs at the top of the movement.

    Once getting the proper technique, vary weight and sets: lower reps with more weight. Do to failure at each set and then lower weight for the following set.

    Do a variety of chest exercises: do incline bench press, decline bench press, flat bench, fly press, and push ups.